What are Less Common Side Effects of Chemo?
Leslie's Story about treatment:

Leslies cancer was too advanced to do surgery. She is having heavy dosages of chemo. She is home volunteering her time by doing the budget for the WIC (Women Infant and Children) program. There is a knock on the door and then it opens and her oldest daughter, Cecelia, walks in.

Cecelia: Hi mom, I was on my way to the store and stopped by to see if you needed anything. How are you feeling?

Leslie: Not so good. Im just sitting here watching TV. Dont even feel like beading.

Cecelia: Oh, youve got to be feeling bad if you dont even want to bead.

Leslie: Well, every time I look down to pick up the bead, I feel like Im going to throw up. Thats why Ive got the trash can sitting here. Just in case.

Cecelia: Oh, Mom. I thought that medicine the doctor gave you was supposed to stop you from feeling sick to your stomach.

Leslie: Yeah, me too. But I guess it didnt work. I just feel tired all over. I dont want to do anything. It took me two hours this morning to get out of the bedroom.

Cecelia: What do you mean it took two hours to get out of the bedroom?

Leslie: Well, I tried to get up and your daddy helped me sit up. So I sat there for a while, then I laid back down.

Your daddy was done with his shower and saw me lying down and asked if I wanted to sit up or lay down. I say, sit up. So he helped me sit up again. And I just sat there. He brought me some tea and crackers to eat while I was sitting there.

So, I finally thought, okay, get up, get out of bed, get going. And I start to stand, but then I felt so weak and sick again that I plopped back down on the bed. I scared your dad half to death. He heard me and came running in. So here I am lying with my feet on the ground and my body stretched out sideways on the bed. Your daddy crawls on the bed next to me and say, I dont know, but maybe you should just stay in bed today. I said, nope, Im not letting this get me down. Ive got things I need to do. I have to finish Margarets dress for the powwow. So he says, why dont I just work here in the bedroom. I say no, Ive got to get to the living room. Im not gonna be lying around like some sick woman.

So, we try again. I sit up. It takes five tries before he finally gets me here to the couch. Now that Im here, I dont even have the strength to hold the needle and do the bead pattern for Margarets dress. Ive got to get it done.

Cecelia: Mom, I can help. I dont bead as well as you do, so how about if I sew the seams and get the rest of the dress ready?

Leslie: Okay, that would be good. Ill keep my bead pattern close by in case I feel like I can do it.

Cecelia: Are you sure you dont want to go back to bed and just take it easy today?

Leslie: Nope. My minds made up. It took your daddy and I a lot of effort to get me here and here Im staying.

Cecelia: Okay Mom. What can I do to help?

Leslie: Well, Id really like to change the channel but the batteries are dead in the remote control. Would you pick me up some more batteries?

Cecelia: Of course Mom. What time is daddy getting home from work?

Leslie: He says hes going to come home at lunch time to make certain I eat something, then go back to work.

Cecelia: I can fix you lunch if you want Mom.

Leslie: No, not really. Im dont feel none like eating. I just try to make your daddy happy when he makes lunch for me.

Cecelia: Does the doctor know how weak youre feeling and that you dont feel like eating?

Leslie: Oh yeah, Im sure he does. He said that the drugs would probably make me feel sick to my stomach and other stuff.

Cecelia: Well, yeah, but youre really weak. I mean does he know it took you and daddy five tries before you made it to the couch?

Leslie: Well, no, but I dont want to bother him

Cecelia: Gee Mom, that isnt like you. You always speak your mind.

Leslie: Yeah, but I just dont feel up to it right now.

Cecelia: Well Mom, youre probably right that this is just normal for these types of treatments. But Id feel a lot better if the doctor knew how tired and sick youre feeling. Would it be alright if I called him for you?

Leslie: Oh, I dont want you to bother him.

Cecelia: Mom, youre my mother and I dont like seeing you like this. Im going to call him and make certain this is normal. Or see if there is some other medicine that may help you out through this.

Leslie: Okay.

top of page